Stage 1- Desired Result

Transfer: Students will be able to independently use their learning to…
  • Demonstrate independence in reading complex texts, and writing and speaking about them.
  • Build a strong base of knowledge through context rich texts.
  • Obtain, synthesize, and report findings clearly and effectively in response to task and purpose.
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  • Read, write, and speak grounded in evidence.
  • Use technology and digital media strategically and capably.
  • Come to understand other perspectives and cultures through reading, listening, and collaborations.

  • W.3.3-Write narrative to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • W.3.4-With guidance and support from adults,produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.(Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3above.)
  • W.3. 5-With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards1–3 up to and including grade 3 on page 29.)
  • W.3.8-Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
  • W.3.10-Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes and audiences.
  • L.3.1-Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • L.3.2-Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • L.3.3-Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
  • SL.3.4-Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
Essential Questions
  • Why do we write?
  • How do writers approach the craft of telling their own stories?

  • How do author gather their ideas for their personal narratives?
  • What can I learn from studying other authors?
Big Ideas
Our Stories

Enduring Understandings
  • Writers write to tell their own stories and share ideas.
  • There is a craft to writing effectively.

  • Authors generate lists of ideas from their experiences, places, and things that they love.
  • I can study the work of authors to help learn the craft of writing.
Students will know…
  • Routines and procedures for effective writing.
  • Habits that support independent writing throughout the writing process.
  • Resources that can support their independent writing.
  • Characteristics of narrative writing.
  • Strategies for effective narrative writing including use of descriptive detail and use of clear event sequences.
  • Narrowing a topic for a more detailed account
  • Effective use of details
  • Their audience for the task.
  • The writing process for drafting, revising, and editing of a piece.

    • Personal narrative
    • Precise words, phrases, and clauses
    • Narrative techniques
Students will be skilled at …
  • Applying classroom systems, routines and procedures of the writing workshop.
  • Establishing habits of independent writers throughout the writing process.
  • Creating and learning to use resources, and applying them to independent writing.
  • Writing independently daily following appropriate routines.
  • Writing personal narratives.
  • Narrowing a topic to begin writing.
  • Choosing effective techniques, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • Organizing an event sequence that unfolds naturally
  • Writing with precise words and details to convey experiences and events precisely.
  • Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Developing their writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Stage 2- Assessment Evidence
Performance Tasks: Students revise and edit one personal narrative.

Formative: Students will write several seeds of personal narratives in their writer’s notebooks. Conference with students to support their application of the skills and strategies taught in the mini-lessons.

Summative: Students complete revising and editing checklist on their writing.

Student Self-Assessment: At the end of the unit, students will write a reflection piece on what they have learned about narrative writing. See other ideas for self-reflection at the end of the unit.
Stage 3- Learning Plan
Welcome to a new journey in writing!
The goal of this unit of study is to establish routines and procedures in the writing workshop. The unit’s lessons set the expectations and provide careful modeling of the behaviors in action. Students follow the writing process from prewriting to drafting, revising, editing and publication. Students spend time collecting ideas for writing. With ‘short writes,’ students practice introduced skills.

Professional writers attribute their success to hard work over many years.The same is true for our intermediate students.We want our students to understand, from the first day of school,that writing is a process. So we begin the school year energized---ready to grow as writers and thinkers.

One of the first things we want to show students is that authors consider many topics before they write. Opportunities for read aloud and discussion show that a student’s own life is a great place to begin when searching for ideas. Students create a heart map to begin recording writing topics or ‘territories.”

One of the greatest challenges students have is narrowing their topics.Bed-to-bed stories are merely lists of events and void of any elaboration or detail.Students learn that they have many stories within a big topic. They don’t need to tell everything about the topic in one story.In these lessons the teacher models how to narrow the topic using an inverted triangle to ‘zoom in’ on one specific happening.

The Drafting stage provides an opportunity for students to write several short writes. These short pieces of writing take less time and allow students to learn and practice specific writing skills and craft,such as building strong sentences,using precise verbs, and sensory details.

Finally,the Revising and Editing lessons focus on procedures and routines that foster independent practice. Rereading and Partner Sharing activities strive to improve the quality of the writing. Lessons teach explicit procedures and clearly model the activity.

An Editing Checklist teaches students to take the responsibility to reread and be their own first editors. The editing list is purposefully limited in scope. Class editing grows with each unit of study.It is a tool that keeps writers focused on what they have learned.

In designing this unit it was very tempting to add many more lessons. However, we decided to keep this unit as focused as possible.We did include a poetry-writing lesson that asks students to apply what they’ve learned about word choice and the beauty of language. It is a writing experience that provides success for all writers.

Celebration at the end of the publishing process is an important way to let students know we value their writing. It is something to look forward to and can motivate students to do their best work while publishing. Celebrations can be as simple as sharing writing with a partner or as elaborate as an author’s tea with parents. Itis entirely up to you. Try different ways to celebrate at the end of each unit and have a marvelous time with your students as you write together through the year.

Lesson #1: Why Do Writers Write?
Lesson #2: Thinking About Topics to Write About
Lesson #3: Books Are Full of Writing Ideas
Lesson #4: Narrowing a Topic: Write more about less!
Lesson #5: Review of How Authors Gather Ideas
Lesson #6: Building a Sentence
Lesson #7A: Precise Verbs
Lesson #7B: Revising: Materials and Procedures
Lesson #8: Building a Descriptive Sentence
Lesson #9: Sensory Details:It Sounds About Right
Lesson #10: Using Color Words to Elaborate Descriptions
Lesson #11: Color Poem:The Best Prose Sounds Like Poetry!
Lesson #12: Drafting a Short Write
Lesson #13: Revising:Read,Read and Reread!
Lesson #14: Partner Sharing for Revision
Lesson #15: Spelling Consciousness–Editing

Full Lessons:
To incorporate the Common Core State Standards W.5.6 which describes the use of technology students could:
  • Take digital photographs of shared experiences.
  • Create a PowerPoint of writing with voice recordings.
  • Use story-making applications from iPads or other tablets.
  • Type final projects.
  • Share writing over school announcement system.
  • Have students project the written pieces using a document camera.